Budget Menu Planning
If you are trying to stick to a family budget, menu planning is essential. By thinking ahead and organizing your weekly menus, you can easily meet or beat your grocery budget, while still serving healthy and delicious dinners to your family. Read on for examples of five dinners you can make for less than $10.
Plan your weekly menu before you shop
One of the best ways to save money at the grocery store is to plan out your week ahead of time. Don't wander aimlessly around the grocery store picking up random items because you aren't sure what you are going to cook. This inevitably leads to overbuying and food goes to waste as well. Sit down ahead of time and write out your weekly menu and accompanying grocery list or use one of the excellent menu planners available online like E-mealz.
Become a leftover queen
Don't wait until you have half a pan of uneaten enchiladas to decide what to do with them. Become a leftover queen and plan to use your leftovers ahead of time. That way you will already have the ingredients on hand to whip up that tasty Three Cheese Echilada Soup or Taco Casserole everyone in your family loves.
Eat outside the box
Are you stuck in a rut? Do you end up spending more money on food than you intend to because you are bored with the same old dishes? Here are five great examples of different types of dinners you can make for $10 or less that are healthy, cheap and absolutely delicious.
Do you love tortillas? Well then, be prepared to fall in love with wraps. You can use a package of flour tortillas to wrap up almost any ingredients and have a tasty dish on the table in no time. Don't feel confined to just Mexican dishes either. Chipotle Chicken, Fajitas and Carne Deshebrada are great ideas, but so are Chinese Stir Fry, Greek Gyros, Barbecue Chicken and Asian Sausage. The possibilities are endless.
Okay. Don't groan yet. Maybe you ate one too many overcooked Tuna Casseroles as a kid, but trust me when I say that casserole do not have to be tasteless or boring. How about Alfredo Chicken and Biscuits? Seven Layer Taco? Crab Dip? Cheeseburger? Chicken Fajita? Chicken Florentine? Italian Sausage and Spinach? Is your mouth watering yet?
Are you trying to live on the lighter side? Do you need more veggies in your life? How about trying some tempting salads like Chicken Caesar, Fuji Apple Chicken, Greek Orzo, Beef and Mandarin Orange, Crispy Seafood Citrus, Caribbean Holiday Shrimp or Thai Noodle? Your budget will thank you and your waistline will too.
Noodles are cheap and you can dress them up to fit almost any cuisine. Your family will be delighted when you set any of these delicious dishes on the table such as Pasta Carbonara, Herbed Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Goat Cheese, Summer Squash Ravioli, Beef Lo Mein, Three Cheese Lasagna or Spicy Thai Shrimp Pasta.
There is nothing more delicious and filling than soup on a cold, winter day. And soup is one of the most budget-friendly dishes around because it is cheap to make and can easily hide almost any leftovers looking for a new home. Fill up your belly with one of these yummy soup recipes or use whatever you have on hand and create your own. Don't be afraid to let those creative juices flow. You might just come up with a new family favorite!
More frugal meal ideas